Málaga to Granada: Useful Transport Tips [2024]

Málaga to Granada: Useful Transport Tips [2024]

Do You Need To Get From Málaga to Granada?

If you’re looking for hassle-free transport options between Málaga and Granada, you have come to the right place!

I live next to Málaga, and have visited Granada four times. In this article, I will explain all the travel options between Málaga and Granada in detail. I will also add practical insights and local tips to save you lots of time and money!

You probably already know you must fly to Málaga International Airport to visit Granada.

If you need transport from the airport, you can book it easily in advance at Kiwitaxi in just a few clicks. The company has great reviews and no hidden fees policy, so you always know what you’re paying.

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fuengirola car rental

Of all the options available, the best solution for most cases is renting a car in Malaga and driving to Granada. I recommend Discover Cars, which will get you the best prices for car rentals from Malaga!

What is the Distance from Málaga to Granada?

Are you wondering what the distance between Málaga and Granada is? Below you will find the distance details with estimated drive time.

RouteDistanceDrive Time
Málaga to Granada131 km (81 miles)1.5 hours
Málaga Airport to Granada135 km (83 miles)1.5 hours
Seville to Granada253 km (157 miles)2 hours 55 mins
Cordoba to Granada208 km (129 miles)2 hours 15 mins
Marbella to Granada180 km (111 miles)2 hours

How To Get From Málaga to Granada?

Here is a quick view of all available options – you can use the link to book directly.

TransportDurationCost Estimate
Car Rental1.5 hours€ 35 / 4 days
Private Transport1.5 hour€ 180
Train1 hr 18 mins€ 20
Bus1 hour€ 13
Taxi or Uber1.5 hour€ 180
Day trip7-8 hours€95

Málaga to Granada: Your Transport Options

There are six different transport options available for this journey. In the sections below I will cover each of them with details and include links where to buy your tickets.


1. Malaga to Granada with a Rental Car

Travelling to Granada by car might be the most convenient and fastest option.

In this section, you will find everything you need to know about car rentals in Málaga, suggested travel routes and all the insights which will save you a lot of time and hassle.

Renting a Car in Malaga

Renting a car can be complicated because of hidden fees and local scams that are easy to fall into. In Spain, you are also facing a language barrier as not all the local companies have English-speaking staff.

I recommend using Discover Cars, an award-winning car rental comparison site that will get you the best deals from dozens of local and international car rental companies so that you can find the best deals on car rentals in seconds.

The company is super transparent and has some of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the industry (4.4/5 on Tripadvisor), so you can be confident in booking through them.

Best of all, booking is easy, and you can find the best deal on car rental from Malaga in seconds.


Driving from Malaga to Granada

Travel options for the 131 km (81 miles) trip from Malaga to Granada are two basic routes:

Option 1: The first route goes through the mountains and heads up North, passing the village of Loja and entering Granada through Santa Fe area. This journey would take about 1.5 hours.

Option 2: You can also choose the drive along the coastline after Malaga and then head up North after Almunecar. I would suggest that this is probably the more picturesque route, with a few stopping options on your way (Nerja or Frigiliana would be a good stopover place). This journey, without stopping takes 1 hour and 48 minutes, so it’s slightly slower.

Estimated toll fees: these should be toll-free

Estimated fuel costs: around 14 euros

Parking in Granada

If you’re staying in Granada for a holiday, your hotel might offer a free parking option, but most require additional payment. Make sure you check this as it can be quite a substantial amount.

Most hotels in the Albaicin district (old town) do not have parking options, and almost all of the streets are pedestrian-only, so you might have to leave the car somewhere in the main square or in the public parking lot.

If you’re looking for good parking options next to where you’re staying, google maps is your best bet – check the available parking options on the map below.

Spain Traffic Laws You Should Know

  • Driving license, car rental documents, and insurance documents must always be carried in the car.
  • Seatbelts must be worn at all times, both in front and back seats
  • The maximum allowed amount of blood in alcohol is less than 1.2mg/0.6ml – this can be reached after consuming as little as a small glass of wine or beer
  • Two warning triangles and a reflective vest must be in the car in case of an accident.
  • Do not use mobile while driving; hands-free devices are allowed.
  • Kids under the age of 12 must sit in the backseat
  • Be careful when crossing junctions with traffic lights, locals are known to ignore lights many times and cross even on red or yellow
  • Be careful around pedestrian crossings and make sure you stop in front of them when needed
  • If you witness an accident, you must help the injured and call the police and ambulance, if you’re the first one on the scene
  • If you end up in an accident, do not move your car, call the police and ambulance, take photos of the car and call the car rental company hotline.

2. Malaga to Granada with Private Transport

If you’re looking for a convenient private transport option that saves you the hassle of driving a car and navigating the local traffic, booking private transport is the best option.

I have personal experience with gettransfer.com; I have used them on two occasions when I needed to get to a destination quickly without renting a car. The website is super easy to use – all you need to do is add your journey details and it will popular price quotes from many different taxi and transport companies.



  • click here to get to the main page where you enter your journey details
  • you will need the exact pickup and drop-off address to get an accurate quote
  • enter the date and time of travel
  • you also have the option to request a child seat, English speaking driver, access to wifi in the car, notify them about excess luggage and also request a return journey
  • once you add the details, you just hit get a quote, add your email, and the website will start gathering the best quotes from transport and taxi companies for you
  • once you find a price that works for you, you can finish the transaction by booking the trip directly through the website
  • please be patient, as it takes time for the site to populate new offers that keep coming in

3. Malaga to Granada with a Train

I have travelled to Granada from Malaga two times by train, and the journey is very fast and comfortable.

I would recommend buying the tickets in advance and shopping around a bit – you get different prices for different days of the week and train times.

The train journey will vary depending on what train you take, the shortest journey is 1 hr 18 mins, and the longest is around 3 hours.

The difference in the train journey comes from the fact that you have to change trains at Antequera St Anna, which is a small train station near the village of Antequera, north of Malaga. The station is in the middle of nowhere, with not many facilities around, so I would advise against choosing a train with a long waiting time in between.

Buy Train Tickets

It’s best to get your train tickets online, and most importantly, in advance, so you can get the most connection options and best prices.

Click the link below and enter your journey details – the website will populate a number of travel options for this trip.


Here is how to make your booking:

  • please select your desired train connection and terms of the journey (whether its direct or a change may be required)
  • proceed with the payment details – you will be asked for ID to make the booking
  • the ticket will be sent to your email address as a PDF or you can download it directly from the website
  • on the day of the travel, you only need to show the QR code at the entrance to the platform
  • seats are normally allocated when you buy the ticket
  • if you don’t see seat allocation, it will say ‘assigned at departure’, which means a lady at the station booth will hand you over a physical paper with your seat written down. If you’re travelling as a group, don’t worry, they normally give you seats next to each other.

The price of the train ticket depends on the time of the year, the time of the day and the duration of the trip. The early morning trains or those with longer travel times usually are much cheaper, and tickets start as low as 20 euro per person, one way, but can go as high as over 50 euros one way.

Tickets are much cheaper when purchased in advance as I said earlier.

Train Departures and Travel Time

I have added some example departure times and journey duration with the national rail network Renfe. Please note these are subject to change, you will see the most accurate time when you click to buy your tickets online.

The trains from Malaga to Granada leave from Malaga Maria Zambrano station and arrive at Granada main station, details about facilities on both stations are also included below.

  • 9.10 am train – arrival in Granada at 11.48 am (journey time 2 hrs 38 mins)
  • 9.25 am train – arrival in Granada at 10.43 am (journey time 1 hr 18 mins)
  • 2.15 pm train – arrival in Granada at 5.57 pm (journey time 3 hrs 42 mins)
  • 3.50 pm train – arrival in Granada at 5.07 pm (journey time 1 hr 18 mins)
  • 4.13 pm train – arrival in Granada at 5.57 pm (journey time 1 hr 44 mins)
  • 8.25 pm train – arrival in Granada at 9.42 pm (journey time 1 hr 17 mins)
  • 6.35 am train – arrival in Malaga at 8.45 am (journey time 2 hrs 10 mins)
  • 7.00 am train – arrival in Malaga at 8.45 am (journey time 1 hr 45 mins)
  • 7.36 am train – arrival in Malaga at 8.54 am (journey time 1 hr 18 mins)
  • 1.06 pm train – arrival in Malaga at 2.22 pm (journey time 1 hr 16 mins)
  • 1.15 pm train – arrival in Malaga at 2.56 pm (journey time 1 hr 16 mins)
  • 5.26 pm train – arrival in Malaga at 7.27 pm (journey time 2 hrs)
  • 6.46 pm train – arrival in Malaga at 8.03 pm (journey time 1 hr 17 mins)

Malaga Maria Zambrano Train Station

There are two train stations in Malaga – Malaga centro and Malaga Maria Zambrano.

The trains to Granada depart from Malaga Maria Zambrano, a much bigger train station with better travel connections.

The train station is also well connected to the airport, you can catch a train to the station just outside of the arrivals terminal and there are only a few stops between the airport and the main Malaga train station.

Train tickets to Granada can be also purchased at the train station, the ticket offices are next to the entrance to the tracks. They also have customer service in case you need help with your tickets.

malaga train station spain 2

If you’re staying in Malaga, the easiest way to get to the train station is by taxi. It would be a lot of hassle navigating through public transport.

If you’re coming from the airport, as I mentioned, the train stops at the airport and is only a short walk from the arrival terminal.

Granada Train Station

The main train station in Granada is relatively small, and not well equipped – I was surprised by that considering what a big city Granada is. Upon departure back to Malaga, they scanned all luggage through security scanners used at airports.

There are a handful of places to buy some snacks and food, but otherwise, the station has very limited facilities and there aren’t many shops or restaurants near the train station.


4. Malaga to Granada by Bus

Wanting to find a more convenient travel connection, I also tested the bus trip from Malaga to Granada, and for me, it was by far the most convenient way to get from Malaga to Granada.

First of all, you don’t have to change anywhere (unlike with the train where you have to change trains at Antequera St Anna station), and the journey always takes the same time – around 1.5 hours for a direct connection.

There are also slower buses with one-stop between the cities, and the journey with these takes a maximum of 2 hours.

The bus tickets are also considerably cheaper and the buses run more frequently compared to the trains.

Buying Bus Tickets for Granada

You can get bus tickets from the bus driver, but buying them online is better to ensure you can get on the bus you want. If you check online, you can also see different prices for different connections and in most cases also choose a seat option.

The other reason is that the bus driver always lets the people with tickets into the bus first, so you might end up in a situation where the bus you wanted to use is already full and you need to wait for the next one as you didn’t have a rebooked ticket.

To buy your bus tickets, I recommend checking Omio which will generate quotes from both travel companies operating this route.


How to Buy Bus Tickets

It’s pretty easy to do that online, you can use the form below and enter your travel dates. The website will show you bus times with the prices of the tickets and booking conditions.

After you find the bus you want to use, add your details and pay for your tickets. The tickets are provided as a PDF document with QR code, there is no need to print it, the driver just needs to see the QR code.

  • If you’re worried that your travel plans might change, Omio has the option to upgrade to flex terms which allows you to cancel the ticket and get a refund of 85% of the ticket value up to 24 hours before departure.
  • The tickets are valid only for the chosen bus, you cannot use them for different bus departures.
  • Ticket can be cancelled or changed for free up to 48 hours before departure, for a 20% fee up to 24 hours before departure and for a 30% fee up to 2 hours before departure.
  • Standard tickets include travel luggage with you, if you’re travelling with excessive luggage or oversized luggage, there is an option to pay extra for those too.

Ticket Prices

The price depends on seasonality, time of the week when you travel and time of the day.

The cheapest bus tickets are around 13 euros one way, but price will vary depending on when you are travelling and which travel connections you are taking.

Tips for Bus Journey

Here are some practical tips to make your journey more pleasant:

  • If you struggle with travel sickness, I recommend getting some medicine ahead of the trip as it’s a long one.
  • Wifi is available on most buses
  • The buses are fairly modern and equipped with toilet
  • Seats are also comfortable with storage overhead and small pocket in front of the seat
  • You should not listen to loud music or make calls while in the bus, which signs clearly indicate, but most local travellers completely ignore that
  • If you’re travelling with kids, I would strongly suggest using some of the alternative transport options as they will struggle with a long bus journey

Malaga Bus Station

All buses leave from the main terminal next to Maria Zambrano station (you can walk across the road from the station to get there, they’re almost connected).

The station has limited facilities, no restaurants and limited shops, so if you want to buy something ahead of the trip, you should do so at the train station next to it.

The train station has a selection of restaurants (most opening after 1 pm) and a big Mercadona supermarket. There is also a kiosk with books, newspapers and a few souvenir shops.

Granada Bus Station

Just like in Malaga, the bus station in Granada has limited facilities and its fairly modest in size. The bus station is under 10 minutes drive with a taxi from central Granada, the journey with a taxi will cost between 8 – 10 euros, depending on the traffic.


5. Malaga to Granada by Taxi

By far the most expensive option, a taxi from Malaga to Granada will set up back between 140 to 180 euros for up to 4 passengers. If there are four of you travelling and you’re happy to split the cost, it’s not that bad!

You can book a taxi directly from Malaga airport or any other location in Malaga with KiwiTaxi, one of the most popular taxi booking services with 4.7/5 reviews on Tripadvisor.

Enter your journey details in the form below to get an instant taxi quote for this journey.


6. Day Trip from Malaga to Granada

If you only want to see the highlights of Granada and don’t like the hassle of driving a car or navigating the local transport options, booking a day trip with a local travel company is a super convenient and often cost-effective way to see the city.


Here are some of the advantages of using a local travel company for this day trip:

  • convenient pick up and drop off locations in central Malaga
  • runs 2 times per week, giving you lots of options to pick the day for your trip
  • skip the line tickets to the Alhambra monument are already included in the price
  • English-speaking guide for Nasrid Palace
  • travel in a comfortable air-conditioned bus
  • free time in Granada to explore on your own
  • book online in just a few clicks – all you need is your ID and payment card
  • the tickets to Alhambra are issued as personal ones and checked against the ID at the entrance, don’t forget to bring your ID with you for this trip

For this trip, I would recommend securing your spot as soon as you know the details of your stay in Malaga, as it’s very popular and it could be already sold out for the week you might be in Malaga.

IS IT SOLD OUT? If you check the day trip option below and you don’t see available dates anymore, you still have the option to go to Granada on your own, with a rental car or train/bus, BUT you should get your Alhambra tickets as soon as possible if you want to see the palace, as the tickets do sell out quite fast.


How to Get From Malaga Airport to Granada

Malaga Airport to Granada by Car

If you’re renting a car, you can pick it up directly at the airport and then head to Granada via the route described at the beginning of the article.

If possible avoid travelling through the city and head directly north towards Antequera.

Malaga Airport to Granada by taxi

There are a lot of taxis available at Malaga airport, however, these are more suited for short local journeys. If you’re going as far as Granada, it’s better to book in advance and get the driver to meet you at arrivals. Please check above for the recommended company to use and to check the prices.

How much is the taxi from Malaga airport to Granada?

For up to 4 people, you can expect to pay around 140 euros for the trip, depending on your drop off point.

Malaga Airport to Granda by a bus

There is a frequent bus connection between Malaga and Granada, but the buses do not stop or come all the way to the airport. You will have to get to Malaga main bus station to take the bus.

The easiest way to get to the bus station is to take the local train towards Maria Zambrano station, the bus station is adjacent to it. Alternatively, you can also take a taxi or a local bus (the last option is much slower).

Granada Monuments Tickets & Tours

Here are a few guided trip options for visiting the main sights in Alhambra. To check availability and prices please click on the link below.

Frequent Travel Questions

How do I get from Malaga to Granada?

You can get to Granada from Malaga by car, bus, train or taxi. The fastest journey is by car or bus, which is also the cheapest. The trains are also comfortable to use, but prices may be much higher. A taxi is also an option, but a fairly expensive one.

Is there a high-speed train from Malaga to Granada?

No, the high-speed train network does not run to Granada. The average journey time from Malaga to Granada can take between 1.5 hours to nearly 3 hours, depending on the connection. The train is not direct and you have to change at Antequera St Anna station.

How long is the bus journey from Malaga to Granada?

The shortest journey available is a direct bus connection which takes 1.5 hours. Other buses with one or two stops also operate, the journey takes a maximum of 2 hours.

Is there a direct bus from Malaga to Granada?

Yes, the direct bus runs from Malaga main station and does not have any stops on the way. The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours.

What is the fastest way to get from Malaga to Granada?

The fastest route to Granada is with a car or a bus, each one takes approximately 1.5 hours.

What is the cheapest way to get from Malaga to Granada?

The bus is the cheapest way to get to Granada, tickets start as low as 13 euro one way. Alternatively, you can calculate the cost of petrol and parking if you’re going in a car, the distance is around 140 km.

Can I get from Malaga to Granada without renting a car?

Certainly – there is an easy and fast connection both by train and bus, with frequent departures each day.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.

Southern Spain Travel Tips

Find Best Hotels

Find Hotels

I have been using booking.com for all my trips in Spain and abroad, and it’s the best place to book your hotel.

Find Car Rental

Find Car Rental

To rent a car, I highly recommend Discover Cars, an award-winning price comparison site for car rentals.

Book Your Tour

Local travel companies offer many day trip options from almost all the destinations in Southern Spain. You can check them out here.

Book Local Transport

To get the cheapest bus or train tickets, take a look at Omio to find the timetables and prices.

Find Cheap Flights

Get the best flight deals when you book early via Skyscanner.com

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links - if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.

Hi, I'm Lucia

At Viva La Vita, I will help you to discover Southern Spain like a local!

I've been living on Costa del Sol since 2020, and fill these pages with first-hand insights, personal experience and practical tips that will help you plan a wonderful trip to Spain.

Make yourself at home and find the best places to explore in Andalusia and beyond.

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